Sunday, October 12, 2014

Paul Kagame – the Absentee President – By Dr. David Himbara

Dr David Himbara
When the United States President Barack Obama recently pressed ahead with Martha’s Vineyard holiday 
Kagame loves media attention but hate our questions unless
we ask him about women in parliament but not
women languishing behind bars because
they drew this cartoon
during Iraq crisis, he came under fire with some calling him “the Absentee President.” Critics questioned how the President could play golf on Martha’s Vineyard in the middle of crises. At least Obama was in the United States, an hour away from Washington, DC, in a country that has a full-time vice president.
In the Rwanda case, Kagame has been overseas for nearly one month, globe-trotting to Atlanta, New York City, Dubai, Trieste, Italy and Kampala, Uganda.kagame_faces_media
Who actually runs the country when the Absentee ruler is away? How much do his global adventures cost the Rwandan taxpayers?


# 19 Sept 2014: Visits Mercier University, Atlanta, USA.
# 20 Sept: Attends Rwanda Day, Atlanta
# 21-26 Sept: UN events, New York City
# 27 Sept: Global Citizen Festival, New York City
# 1 Oct: Global Business Forum, Dubai
# 3 Oct: Rwanda Smart Days, Kigali, Rwanda
# 5 Oct: 50th anniversary of International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy
# 7 Oct: Uganda-Rwanda Business Forum, Kampala, Uganda
# 9 Oct: Uganda Independence celebrations, Kampala, Uganda.
This Kagame global itinerary consumed some 23 days – with brief stopover in Rwanda to attend Rwanda Smart Days, between the Dubai and Italian events.


A Gulfstream executive jet in which President Kagame travels, costs US$8,600 per hour on the open market.
The particular jet chartered for the Rwandan President is said to be owned by Kagame’s RPF holding company, Crystal Ventures Ltd. Perhaps RPF (which is Kagame himself) may be giving President Kagame some kind of discount – who knows. Accommodation-wise, presidential suites in a five-star hotel range between US$5,000 to over US$10,000.00 a day – Kagame has been known to stay in US$20,000.00 a day suite. Add travel and accommodation costs of ministers and staff that can number over 20, and for Rwanda Day, over 100 people.
It is unlikely that a Kagame presidential trip would cost the taxpayers less than US$1,000,000.00 – a highly conservative estimate.


This question I am unable to even guess.
BY Dr. David Himbara


  1. David, if anyone should be branded absentee anything, it should be you. when you worked at Urugwiro, you went missing and came back twice, only to give schoolboy excuses for your absence. And all these times the President let you be, hoping that you might change for the better. But did you change? you went missing the third time, only to surface in the media making ridiculous claims, not schoolboy reasons for your absence this time. so, who is the absentee here?

  2. The question is not who runs the country in his absence, it shows the country has institutions that run the country, not one person as people like to claim. if he is the 'loathed ruler' as you like to claim, why do you think he has the confidence to be away for all that time, and nothing goes wrong? The issue is not about how long he goes or how much it costs, as long as he is not away to 'play golf', but on a mission that aims to court worthwhile investments and friendships for Rwanda and its people - and thats the case

  3. Totally ridiculous. But this is obvious when you're not busy building your own country you can't lack such writings. I see well you still follow remotely what our our leader is doing. You were given opportunity to serve and you abused enough. Now this is what remainus. Unsupported Talks

  4. Himbara you think a dormant president sitting in state house at the expense of not giving his country and people an the best way of not abusing public funds...he might not be moving as you say but still burning more money like by organizing home live concerts as the Kadaffi's used to do with all kind of celebrities....Do you have an idea of how much that can cost? When it comes to the luxurious life of heads of states, no one should be judging them before he is himself brought to that test.... Himbara leave Kagame alone.